By: Jeff Low

The fact that 6 out of 10 Canadians only have basic financial skills means that there’s a sizeable gap in financial education. Mac’s Money Centre is helping students bridge this gap.

Recently, Mac’s Money Centre hosted Money Talks With Financial Experts as part of Financial Literacy Month. The event featured an interactive panel discussion to help students gain confidence in their money management skills.

For individuals who couldn’t attend the event, here’s a recap of the panellists’ top tips and insights.

Sarah Zandbergen, Senior Program Specialist, stnce

When dealing with finances, “the comparison culture we live in can be very damaging,” according to Sarah Zandbergen. She recommends that students resist the urge to compare themselves to others.

Additionally, Zanbergen suggests that students keep a list of achievements and experiences to help build confidence and overcome imposter syndrome.

Vanessa Bowen, Chartered Professional Accountant and Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner

According to Vanessa Bowen, most people have “mental and emotional blocks that [keep them] from setting concrete financial goals and actually achieving them.” To address these blocks, Bowen suggests people “take the time to understand [their] relationship with money.” Students can take the quiz on mintworthy.co/quiz to learn about their money blocks. Bowen’s book, Money Mindset Workbook is another useful resource.

Lauren Smith, Entrepreneur

For entrepreneur Lauren Smith, “[having] one stream of income is so yesterday.” She encourages students to be confident and make the most of every side hustle. “You need to be the one to hype yourself up,” she says.

Additionally, she encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to value time more than money. This means it’s OK to ask for help. According to Smith, “Nobody is self-made — everyone has a ton of people lifting [them] up. If you don’t have that community, create it.”

Kim Kukulowicz, Senior Vice President, Residential Sales at EQ Bank

Kim Kukulowicz’s approach to professional and financial success isn’t based in clichés. She says, “it’s not about climbing, it’s about being lifted up the corporate ladder.” This requires patience, but good work and dedication will pay off with growth and development.

Additionally, Kukulowicz knows that financial confidence is key. She says, “If you can become confident in one area in your life, it should be your finances.” Visit studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/events/flm to learn about Financial Literacy Month events and workshops. Students can visit money.mcmaster.ca to support their financial literacy — not just during Financial Literacy Month, but all year.

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